Danger lurks as ISIS shifts Indian nurses

New Delhi: The crisis in Iraq for India is only compounding by the day. According to latest report 46 Indian nurses have been shifted by ISIS militants from Tikrit in Northern Iraq. The exact location to where they have been shifted is not known. They were pressured by militants to board buses and leave the hospital where they work and live.
Their food stocks are running low and will last only for a day, say sources.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday met Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss moves to rescue the stranded nurses who are mostly from Kerala.
Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “There has been bombing and firing in the vicinity of the (nurses’) building. They have sought refuge in the basement. They are in an extremely delicate situation. We have informed the Iraqi agencies of their location and we remain hopeful that despite these difficulties, we will be able to extricate them. They remain unharmed and safe.”
The nurses, who are trapped in the hospital compound, cannot be evacuated to Baghdad, some 160 km south of Tikrit, as the road is no longer completely with the Iraqi forces.
Evacuating stranded Indians from Iraq is the first serious foreign policy challenge for the new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with relatives in India demanding swift action.
Over 200 Indians have left, aided and unaided by the Indian government. New Delhi is also planning to facilitate the evacuation of about 600 Indians in the next few days.
About 10,000 Indians work in Iraq, mostly in areas unaffected by the fighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) insurgents and government forces.




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